The berries are not red.
They twist in our hands,
struggling to remain on their vines –
the very best in sentient horticulture,
genetically engineered for that astonishing flavor,
dense and luminous
taste after taste blooming on your tongue.
It is the taste of their dreams.
Unconfirmed, I know.
But a legend among us nonetheless.
We, who wake the berries from their dreams,
yank them away from the only home they’ve known.
They have enough intelligence for that, at least –
for the desire to stay.
None of us have unscarred palms.
You know a harvester by the network of fine pale lines across hands, arms.
We bandage our hands silently at the end of the day,
unable to look at each other.
The wine is exquisite.
So we are told.
All the dreams of a new species,
Not with a year’s wages could I afford it.
But every night, I bring home one berry.
One small taste of dream for myself.
I place it on my tongue
and close my eyes.
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